Friday, November 30, 2007

Questioning the Secret Nature of the World

This week, my students dove off the deep end of making sense! We looked at a small portion of Pablo Neruda's Book of Questions, and talked about what secrets of the world he was trying to reveal. I encouraged the student writers to ask a question that was both descriptive AND revealed something about their subject that only they knew (thus, essentially, making stuff up!). This was a tough poem to write, and my amazing young poets rose to the challenge admirably!

4th Grade
The Space of Questions

by Henry L.

Tell me, Falcon, where did you get
your wings that sparkle in the sunlight?

Tell me, does a tiger get its
stripes in the upside down castle?

Tell me, does the rooster travel
in time by using the farmer’s pants?

Tell me, does the snake go every night
in the dark to the depths of space?

Tell me, are the spider’s legs made from
the hair on the back of a hairy man?

It’s a Secret
by Aven D.

Does the raccoon have black glasses
to hide its identity?

How can a bird just fly in the sky
and then disappear?

When trees grow apples, do they talk
to humans so they won’t get picked?

Tell me, does a chicken talk to other
chickens so they can defend themselves
from being eaten?

The Pillow
by Martitha A.

Tell me, does a cloud get its looks from a pillow?

Does the snow man get his color
from a white and soft pillow in the sky?

Why does snow turn into water?
Because it is made of ice?

Tell me, are you a piece of cotton candy?

Tell me, did you get dark eyes from
a mean rain cloud?

3rd Grade
4 Questions
by Noemi R.

Why does the shark swim
instead of crawling in the world?
Why does hail turn to solid?
Does it like to hear a clinking
noise when it hits the ground?
Tell me, why is the ficus so skinny
and small? Why can’t it be big and fat?
Why do radios put music on
instead of me singing the songs?

The Weird Questions
by Matthew P.

Does the jaguar have an engine?
Did the bright sun come from heaven?
Did the cactus get arrows shot into it?
Does the Playstation get electrocuted?

Questions About Animals
by Andrea F.

How did the French Poodle get his curly hair?
From the Groomers?
How is the wind created?
From the giant blowing air in the sky?
How is the violet plant created?
From the color violet?
Where does snow come from?
The birds?

2nd Grade
by Areli H.

Rose, did you get your red
from an apple bitten by a worm?
Pony, did you get your brown
from a squirrel running up a tree?
Winter, did you get your cold
from a snowman standing in the snow?

by Jalyssa M.

Did you know lightening can shake you?
How did a panda learn to climb?
Did you know the sunflower got
its yellow from the sun? Tell me,
did the thunder get its sound from
the bowling alley? Tell me, did the
panda get its color from a dog?
Did you know that thunderstorms
started in a war?

Monday, November 26, 2007

What They Loved

This week, before Thanksgiving, the student poets at Trumbull looked at a beautiful but strange poem by Lisa Jarnot called They Loved Paperclips. The poem is a list of all the things that "they" loved. We talked about third person, lists, what kinds of things in the world we love, and also rhyme and play with words in poetry, which Ms. Jarnot does in her poem. The students were asked to write their own poems using "they loved", picturing themselves and their families as the "they" in question. The student poets rose to the challenge, and created beautiful poems. Enjoy!

4th Grade
They Loved Nature

by Ataib S.

They loved planes and trains, they
loved cars and the stars, they loved
juice and fried rice, they loved all
types of games and the sky’s name,
they loved states and mates, they loved
trees and vegetables, they loved chicken
in the land of Lincoln, they loved
forests and me, they loved mountains
and beaches, and they loved the world
with nature, and the things that
people make, the kind and friendly people.

They Loved Clocks
by Elizabeth C.

They loved the zoo. They loved
cookies with milk. They loved
oranges and door hinges too. They
loved winter and spring and they
even loved to sing.

They loved the color blue. They
loved apples, bananas, strawberries too.
They loved stars that are white and
shine very bright. They loved the
words that rhyme: pain and gain.

They loved parrots and their cousin
Harriet. They loved their good looks.
They loved, loved the clouds
way high up in the sky. They didn’t love
donuts, no one knows why. They dreamed
of flowers that had super powers
and were not very shy.

They Love?
by Omar F.

They loved dogs that bark!
They loved nachos with meat.
They loved the thank in Thanksgiving.
They loved Turkey.
They loved straight A’s.
They loved Spongebob with Patrick.
They loved pizza.
They loved college.
They loved McDonald’s.
They loved Angels.
They loved cellphones.
They loved poetry.
They loved Drama.
They loved Folktales.
They loved non-fiction.

They Loved Food and Things
by Alexis C.

They loved corn, they loved
turkey. They loved mashed potatoes.
They loved smackdown vs. Raw 2008.
They loved TV shows. They loved
ugly houses. They loved 100 dollars.
They loved wrestling toys and new clothes.
They loved teachers and books. They loved
pencils. They loved soccer, air, and computers.
They loved water, they loved ice cream.
They loved money, cookies, football
and Christmas. They loved flowers and children.
They loved to read, and they loved lunch.
They loved projects, poetry, and color.
They loved non fiction and all kinds of words.

2nd Grade
They Loved
by Sammy S.

They loved the sky.
They loved roses.
They loved the lake.
they loved Playstations.
They loved books.
They loved the rain.
They loved cookies.
They loved igloos.
they loved dogs.
They loved the sun.
They loved God.
They loved peace.
They loved puppets.

The Love Poem
by Martiza S.

They loved the sky, sunlight,
rain, and the trees. They loved
the apples, bananas, dolphins, and
spiders. They loved reindeers, Chihuahuas.
They loved foxes and tigers. They loved
kangaroos. They loved frogs, books, and dogs.

They Loved
by Ammy O.

They loved elephants, dolphins, and frogs.
They loved pigs, the color pink and the park.
They loved game boys, pokemon movies, and sports.
They loved art, scary movies, and video games.
They loved Barbies, cycling, and tacos.
They loved butterflies, makeup, and going to work.
They loved swimming, cycling, and sports.

3rd Grade
They Loved
by Emily M.

They loved trees, clouds, seashells
and the sound of the sea at night.
They loved Italian food and
spaghetti. They loved cats, books,
plants, and wood. They loved paper,
crayons, chalk, and words.

by Charles B.

They loved Stone Cold Steve Austin,
Triple H Shawn Michaels, and the rest
of the WWE. They loved watches that
said DX. They loved the wind bursting
in your face. They loved jumping
off tall buildings. They loved playing
golf off a gigantic tower. They
loved dogs guarding the White House.

They Loved WWE
by Cyrus M.

The loved WWE, Mom, books
and Dad. They loved John Cena.
They loved the sky, rain, the wind,
Mick Faley, and the sun. They loved
Dr. Stero, Dr. Seuss, and DX.
They loved Undertaker and shells.

They Loved
by Celene H.

They loved Zac Effron, puppies, horses,
Mom, Dad, and school. They loved lions,
books, baby cheetahs. They loved
the sky, the zoo, and dogs in hats. They loved
elephants, stars, and they loved today.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Animal Origins

This week in Poetry, the young writers at Trumbull Elementary read The Tyger by William Blake. We discussed how Blake is asking the Tyger where he comes from, who made him, and where he took the different parts of himself from. I asked the students to choose their own animals, and describe them using this questioning method. Below, a sample of their amazing poems!

3rd Grade
Ode to a Komodo Dragon
by Coleen Q.

O Komodo Dragon, where did
you get your spikes? Did you
get them from a rose, or somebody’s
hair? O Komodo Dragon, where
did you get your sharp teeth?
Was it from a shark or snake?
O Komodo Dragon, where do
you live? Do you live under
a rock or under a tree?
O Komodo Dragon, your tail,
your long tail, where is it from?
Did you steal it from a monkey,
or a snake? O Komodo Dragon,
you make me wonder.

The Squirrel
by Alesandra P.

Squirrel, you are very pretty.
How did you learn to
climb trees? Where did you get
your colors from? Where did
you come from? I bet you
want nuts. Who is your mom?
Is your name Fluffy?
Is the tree your home?
Do you have a pet?

The Crab’s Origins
by Anahi M.

Crabs! Crabs! You are so nice but when
people touch you, you bite them with your
claws. Did you steal your claws from
a bad tiger and a bad lion too?
You are the color red like a human’s
heart. Why do your eyes look mean?
Why do you live in the ocean?
Why do you like to have sharp claws?
Why do you like red to be in your body?

2nd Grade (group poems)

Anaconda, covered with scales,
did you get your dinner from a human body?
You’re as long as a rope.
Did you get your length from a tall tree’s log?
Anaconda, where did you get your green color?
Did you get it form a leaf?
Anaconda, slivering in the water,
how are you such a good swimmer?
You are so dangerous.
Where did you get your sharp teeth?
Did a dentist give them to you?
Anaconda, you strangle your prey.
Did you get your strength from a shark’s mouth?
We are afraid of you, harmful Anaconda.

by Sammy, Jalyssa, Robert, Erica, Giovanni, Nathan, Felix, and Faith

Cheetah, you are so big.
Did you borrow your size from an elephant
or a rhino? Cheetah, you are so energetic.
Did you get it from the summer air,
or did you steal if from flowing water?
Cheetah, your yellow fur is beautiful.
Did it come from spring sun grass?
Where did you get your claws?
Did you take them from Wolverine,
or from a swampy alligator?
Did you get your pink paws
from the nose of a bear?
Where did you get your eyes?
Did you take the light from the sun?
Cheetah, did you get your long, wiggly tail
from a monkey? Where did you get your
amazing speed? From a Hummer?
Oh Cheetah, you blend in with your
grassy surroundings like a sneaky spy.

4th Grade
by Romario L.

Turtle, where did you get
your feet? Did you get them
from a stick, or a little rock?
Turtle, where did you get your
body? From a rock, or from
a helmet? Turtle, where did you get
your noises from, a little bug?

The Zebra
by Wenny

Zebra! Zebra! running in the cave,
how did you get your pretty legs?
Did you get them from a horse?
Zebra! your fur is very soft. Did
you get it from a bunny? Zebra!
Zebra! your fur is black and white.
Did you get your white from
the clouds, your black from
a moon bear?

by Rene V.

Oh Elephant, Elephant, where did you get your
horns? Did you steal them from a bull?

Where did you get that trunk?
Did you take it from the mammoth
when it went extinct?

How did you get so big?
Did you steal it from the sky or the clouds?

Where did you get that common noise?
Did you get it from thunder roaring?

How did you get that skin?
Did you take it from a rhino?

Where id you get the shape
of your feet? Was it from a dino?

Where did you get that skinny tail?
Is it from a pencil?

Oh Elephant, you are the best.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Delight Songs

This week, we read a poem called The Delight Song of Tsoai-Talee by N. Scott Momaday. We talked about describing the self using metaphor, and trying to give our reader a good picture of who we are without coming out and telling them. We also talked about what it means to "stand in good relation" to something or someone, and the student poets were asked to end their poems with at least two things in the world they stand in good relation to. The poems turned out beautifully. Enjoy!

2nd Grade
What I Am
by Nicole B.

I am the fish who glitters around the deep blue sea.
I am a flower that is beautiful as a butterfly’s wings.
I am a rabbit that jumps in the stars and the moon.
I am a cake that is very, very yummy in a birthday party.
I am a dancer like the trees who are blown by the wind.
I stand in good relation to God.
I stand in good relation to my family.

The Sun
by Richard R.

I am a penny that is rolling down the street.
I am a ball that is gold in the sky.
I am a wheel that is in the sky.
I am a feather in the sky.
I am a fish that is rolling in the water.

My Good Poem
by Jalyssa M.

I am a cloud that is trying not to block the sun.
I am a big birthday cake, and children blow my candles out.
I am a flower that smells good.
I am a tree giving the ear air.
I am a big pumpkin. I have a big pumpkin stem
and children can buy me from the store.
I stand in good relation to my best friend, God.
I stand in good relation to my family.

4th Grade
I Am Everything
by Jellisa A.

I am a fish in the deep blue sea.
I am a cheetah running like the wind.
I am a chair. People sit on me.
I am a monster scaring little kids.
I am a desk. People write on me.
I am a banana. I am yellow. People love eating me.
I am a book with cool pictures.
I am a computer. People make me have viruses.
I am a red crayon coloring a big heart.
I am a dog in the forest.
I stand in good relation to my family and friends.
I stand in good relation to animals: dogs, cats, fish, and snakes.

I Am
by Elizabeth C.

I am a lonely licorice in a jar, waiting for people to eat me.
I am a duckling ready to hatch.
I am the sun that shines on everyone.
I am an eagle soaring in the sky.
I am the water that runs into bathtubs.
I am a polar bear standing in the blanche, sparkling snow.
I am the paw of a dog that he uses to walk.
I am a book with lots of wonderful things inside me.
I am an eagle that is laying eggs.
I am a lion that loves to eat meat.
I stand in good relation to a beautiful red rose in a garden of weeds.
I stand in good relation to our God that is always watching us from the sky.

I Am Everything
by Shaylene A.

I am a famous singer.
I am a grown tree with different colored leaves.
I am a cheetah with different colored polka dots.
I am a pencil writing in a notebook my name 100 times.
I am a big dictionary with lots of information. That’s why I’m smart.
I am a golden fish dancing.
I am a window watching everything in the sky pass.
I am a stop sign because I want everybody to listen to me.
I am a squirrel eating lots of nuts.
I am a big, bright star that lights the night.
I stand in good relation to a watermelon, because I wear pink and red sweaters.
I stand in good relation to my computer, because I am smart.

3rd Grade
The Words Imagination
by Giovanni L.

I am a monkey and a tree branch.
I am a weather people do not like, like when it rains.
I am a season people like to play in, like when it snows.
I am a brown kid walking on a floor.

What I Am
by Samantha D.

I am a puppy searching for a friend.
I am a bat that is ice.
I am the water in my swimming pool with people inside me.
I am a bride playing with bugs.
I am a sharpener sharpening a pencil.
I am ice melting into water.
I am paper with beautiful colors.
I am crayons being used.
I am a book being read.

I Am
by Brandon B.

I am a palm tree in the sky.
I am a cat looking for blue fish in the water.
I am a lion roaring in the forest.
I am a very friendly fish.
I am a crowd saying WOW.
I am a bird going high.
I am a King guarding my crown.
I am a ferocious beast that flies and eats meat.

I Am
by Shirley L.

I am a tiger hunting for food.
I am a dolphin swimming the sea.
I am a teacher teaching a class.
I am a mermaid swimming underwater with a goldfish.
I am a monkey eating a banana.
I am a girl writing a poem.
I am an eagle flying in the sky.
I am a lion sleeping on a rock.
I am a goose flying a winter sky.
I am a dog digging for something.
I am a detective solving a mystery.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Concrete Poems

On Tuesday, October 30, the day before Halloween, the Trumbull Student Poets learned about Concrete Poetry, poetry that creates the shape of an object on the page using words which describe that object. The students were asked to focus on an object that made them think of the Fall season. Many chose Halloween topics, as we were so close to the holiday!

The Cat
by Amanda P.

The Hot Thing

White Ghost!
by Jelissa A.


By Rene V.

My Pumpkin Poem
by Shirley L.